The Insider newsletter features picks from our latest set of tastings and is intended to get these ratings out quickly, before publication in the magazine, to give our members a jump on buying in-demand wines before they sell out. From our newest batch of reviews, we pick the wines that are the most exciting with the highest ratings, regardless of case production, although we do keep a close eye out for high-scoring wines that are made in larger quantities.
Insider selections vary week from week depending on what is in the
tasting room and what is currently being released to the market at the
time. Sometimes we're tasting Burgundy, where almost all the wines are
made in small quantities, and sometimes the focus is more widely available Bordeaux or California reds.
Oftentimes, these top wines are made in very small quantities because the site from which they are made is very small, or they are made only with the absolute top fruit from that year using procedures too expensive to implement for large production wines. The trend in wine production lately has been for wineries to make more individual bottlings, with smaller quantities of each, rather than one or two larger-production bottlings. The reality of wine is that there are not a lot of classic-scoring wines made in quantities large enough for nationwide distribution.
But readers who are interested in hunting for them can usually find at least some of the wines we feature over the course of the year -- as long as they live in a state that allows them to order directly from wineries or retailers and have the wines delivered to them. Availability does vary widely by individual markets, as it does even for larger producers.
For wines made in larger quantities, we provide a wide range of other notes and tools for our members, including the weekly Tasting Highlights featured on our homepage, the Advance newsletter that covers everything from Collectibles to affordable Best Buys, the Wine of the Week in our Sips & Tips email newsletter and our Value Wines lists that automatically update with new notes in each category, such as Italian reds for $25 or Less. We even have a category called Easy Finds specifically for good-value, large production wines.